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From Peirce to Skolem - A Neglected Chapter in the History of Logic

From Peirce to Skolem - A Neglected Chapter in the History of Logic

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Published by: marbac on Apr 18, 2011
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This book began ten years ago as a master's thesis at the University ofChicago, under the direction of W. W. Tait and William A. Howard.During the time that I was beginning my research, I learned much aboutmodern mathematical logic from Ted Slaman and Robert Soare, andabout category theory fl'om Saunders Mac Lane, at the University ofChicago.Else M. Barth of the University of Groningen introduced me to schol-ars in Europe who were interested in the history of logic and, mostespecially, recommended me to Dagfinn Follesdal andJens-Erik Fenstadat the University of Oslo. Through the help of these splendid scholars,and the late Burton Dreben of Harvard University, I received a doctoraldegree from the University of Oslo for an earlier version of the presentwork.Christian Thiel and Volker Peckhaus of the University of Erlangendeserve much thanks fox their very helpful and thorough answers tomy questions about Schr6der and L6wenheim. Nathan Houser, Directorof the Peirce Edition Project, always found the time to assist me in myquests for Peirce lnanuscripts that were difficult to locate. I am gratefulto Marcus Schaefer for comments on my chapters on Peirce, and toTodd Trimble fox his help recasting Peirce's early algebraic theories.Thanks are due to E W. Lawvere and Sir Michael Dummett for theircomments on an earlier draft of this work.I extend my deepest thanks to Stuart A. Kurtz fox" lively and stimulatingresearch sessions over the course of many years and for his patient helpin decoding the source materials for this book. I am also grateful to theComputer Science Department at the University of Chicago for provid-ing me with the scholarly resources for research and writing this book.1 am most indebted and deeply grateful to Anil Nerode for directingmy study of logic and its history, fox" his incisive comments on my man-uscripts in all their various stages, and for his expert advice on the texts.vii
I am also proud to acknowledge the help and guidance I have receivedthrough all phases of this project fi-oln Saunders Mac Lane, who initiallysuggested the topic and whose interest in my work and personal en-couragement have been unrelenting.I am grateful to the special collections librarian at the Johns HopkinsUniversity for help in locating reference material in the Peirce archives,to the special collections librarians at Harvard University and MIT foraccess to Norbert Wiener's unpublished doctoral dissertation, to thePeirce Edition Project and the University of Chicago microfilms libra>ians for providing access to facsimiles of Peirce's notes and manuscripts,and to the University of Chicago Press. I am indebted to Elizabeth Huyckfor her help in preparing this book for publication, and to SuzanneKuwatsu, Don Reneau, and, again, Marcus Schaefer for their work onthe translations of Schr6der's writings that appear as appendices to thisbook. I am particularly grateful to John Muenning for his help in type-setting this book.Finally, I would most especially like to thank my mother for her pa-tience, support, and love.
Geraldine BradyChicago, June 2000
This book is an account of the important influence on the developmentof mathematical logic of Charles S. Peirce and his student O. H. Mitchell,through the work of Ernst Schr6der, Leopold L6wenheim, and ThoralfSkolem. As far as we know, this book is the first work delineating thisline of influence on modern mathematical logic.Modern model theory began with the seminal papers of L6wenheim(1915) "On possibilities in the calculus of relatives" and Skolem (1923)"Some remarks on axiomatized set theory." They showed that in first-order logic, if a statement has an infinite model, it also has a modelwith countable domain. They observed that second-order logic fails tohave this property; witness the axioms for the real number field. Theirpapers focused the attention of a growing number of logicians, startingwith Kurt G6del and Jacques Herbrand, on models of tirst-order the-ories. ~ This became the main preoccupation of model theory and alarge component of mathematical logic as it developed over the rest ofthe twentieth century. In addition, the work of Herbrand, based on thenotion of Skolem function, became, through J. Alan Robinson, the mainbasis of systems of automated reasoning.A careful examination of the contributions of Peirce, Mitchell,Schr6der, and L6wenheim sheds light on several questions: How didfirst-order logic as we know it develop? What are the real contributions~We do not discuss here the Frege-Russell-l-Iilbert tradition leading to first-order logicand G6dei, since this development has many excellent treatments in the literature already,such as the beautiful book of the late .lean van Heijenoort,
From Frege to GiMeL
Van Hei-jenoort's book treats Frege, L6wenheim, and Skolem, but does not cover either Peirce'sor Schr6der's work, which led to L6wenheim's paper. This omission is also present in thehistorical papers of other otherwise very well-read logicians. There are masterful accountsof tile seminal papers of LSwenheim and Skolem in the late Burton Dreben's introductionto G6del's thesis in
Collected Works oJKurt (,iidel
and in the late Hao Wang's introductionto Skolem's
Selected Works in Logic.
But Peirce and Schr6dcr get no attention.

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